Expansion Updates!

This page will update families on our expansion strategies.

Thursday, February 20, 2020 Update:

Our Board of Directors met to discuss some recent feedback from DPS regarding our expansion plans and facility needs. As you may know, Odyssey began conversations with DPS in October to discuss changes that would be necessary to grow enrollment in our current school building. Early this week, we learned that the DPS Board had concerns about our expansion and the potential negative effect on nearby schools. They also expressed reservations about approving funding for building modifications if we did not help them by providing additional capacity for the nearby Stapleton Enrollment Zone.

Our Board discussed this challenge and how it could impact our plans for expanding our school over time. We came to understand that there are multiple issues that must be balanced: maintaining a positive relationship with the School District that authorizes our charter and owns our building; successfully implementing our plan to grow our K-5 enrollment and improve our sustainability; and maintaining our desire for a diverse school that attracts students from a wide variety of backgrounds, communities and neighborhoods.

We have a strong desire to strengthen the diversity and inclusivity of our community and to preserve our FRL commitment. We also want to continue a positive relationship with the DPS board, recognizing that our charter will be up for renewal this year. Finally, we value our integrity in the DPS School Choice Enrollment process and want to be as transparent as possible about how Odyssey prioritizes seats for students in the choice lottery.

Our board worked with the district to find a compromise. Our goal was to allow for changes to our student enrollment priorities that would 1) allow us to preserve our FRL commitment, 2) increase our enrollment from the Stapleton Enrollment Zone and 3) still maintain some seats for any student from the district. Today, our team and DPS agreed on this proposal, and DPS will move forward with our construction project and needed funding so that we can continue our expansion as planned.

Thursday, February 6, 2020 Update:

Hiring and Staffing

  • Odyssey’s staff have completed their intent to return surveys and we have used their input to determine assignments. Three teachers have also announced that they will not be returning next year.
    • Heidi Batchelder, 1st Grade Crew Lead Teacher
    • Maggie Kane, ⅞ Science Crew Lead Teacher
    • Omar Tanamly, ⅞ Humanities Crew Lead Teacher

Our lineup is as follows:

  • Leadership Team for 2020-2021
    • Marnie Cooke, Executive Director
    • Kathryn Martinez, Director of Instruction
    • Elki Neiberger, Director of Operations
    • Ben Hoffman, Director of Adventure and Culture
    • Kim Neal, Front Office Manager
  • K-3 Crew Lead Team
    • Liz Fasterling, Kindergarten
    • Rachel Schreier, 2nd Grade
    • Billy Burch, 3rd Grade
  • 4-6 Crew Lead Team
    • Laurie Brockett, 4th Grade
    • Lizz Rosene, 5th Grade
    • Megan Hebert, 6th Grade
  • 7-8 Crew Lead Team
    • Lauren Marshall, 7/8 Math
  • Specialists
    • Emily Bremer, K-8 Reading Interventionist, part time
    • Anne Oberdzinski, 2nd Math & Curriculum support, part time
    • Paul Cindric, 3/4 Math and Intervention Teacher
    • Brian Johnson, 5/6 Math and Intervention Teacher
    • Becky Bechtold, K-8 Studio Art Teacher
    • Kaylie Titus, K-8 P.E. Teacher
    • Phoebe Novitsky, Special Education Teacher
  • Open Positions
    • Kindergarten Crew Lead Teacher
    • Two 1st Grade Crew Lead Teachers
    • One K/1 Teaching Assistant
    • 7/8 Humanities Crew Lead Teacher
    • 7/8 Science Crew Lead Teacher
    • Special Education Teacher
    • Adjunct Adventure/Office Assistant, part time
  • Our job postings go live on the following sites this week. Please share with your family and friends. We are looking for people who are passionate about our mission/vision, have deep content knowledge and are eager to share it with students and community.
    • Odyssey Website
    • Facebook
    • EL Education
    • Recruitee – Indeed & LinkedIn
    • Colorado League of Charter Schools

Adventure Programming

All spring trips will continue as planned.

  • We’ve hired our Adjunct Coordinator, Kirsten Davis, who supported us on the 6th grade rafting trip, and has worked for Avid for Adventure and Taos Ski Area.
  • Over the next month, our leadership team and staff will be thinking through adventure programming for the coming year(s) and will have more information in March.

Thursday, January 30, 2020 Update:

We are excited to begin expanding our program for elementary grades beginning in 2020-21! We will begin growing our school by accepting 40 kindergarten students and 14 additional 1st graders next fall, while continuing to enroll 26 students for grades 2 through 8.

Check back here often for information and updates about our growth in the next year and beyond. We will share news and developments as quickly as possible.

Student Recruitment
You may have noticed a recent blitz on student recruitment. We are excited to welcome new Kindergarten and 1st grade students and families to our school!

  • Our school has shared some new messaging about our K-1 expansion on social media, neighborhood groups, faith community newsletters and our website. Please share these postings with family and friends.
  • We’ve also added an evening Open House (2/13, at 6pm) to our schedule to support working families before the DPS Choice window closes on 2/18.

Facilities
We will be welcoming two new crews of primary learners in August, so our primary focus for facilities is to create these new classroom spaces.

  • On January 27, DPS’ Planning department visited to determine the scope of work needed to create two new classroom spaces for these primary crews.
  • Marnie is working closely with the planning department to determine funding and a construction timeline for creating additional classrooms and moving our middle school classrooms in one hallway. This means we’ll create four classrooms from the existing three rooms on the west-facing side of the main hallway, and create a classroom from the two 4/5 classrooms.
  • We expect to get an update in March on timing and funding from the district.
  • Our new gym floor is a welcome improvement. To keep the floor clean and safe, we’re using some new materials including mats and sticky/tacky paper to keep dust and dirt off the court. We’re also going to do a midday “zamboni” sweep of the floor to make sure it’s safe for after-school enrichment.

Hiring and Staffing

  • During the week of February 3-7, Odyssey will share staff assignments for next year, communicate departures of outgoing staff, and post job descriptions of open positions.
  • When job postings go live on our website and social media, please share them with friends and family. We are looking for people who are passionate about our mission/vision, have deep content knowledge and are eager to share it with students and community.

Adventure Programming
All spring trips will continue as planned.

  • We’ve hired our Adjunct Coordinator, Kirsten Davis, who supported us on the 6th grade rafting trip, and has worked for Avid for Adventure and Taos Ski Area.
  • Over the next month, our leadership team and staff will be thinking through adventure programming for the coming year(s) and will have more information in March.